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Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley says November schedule will test his side's Isthmian Premier title credentials

Manager Neil Cugley admits November could be a pivotal month for his Folkestone side as they look to consolidate their place as Isthmian Premier leaders.

Invicta travel to Carshalton on Saturday four points clear nearest rivals Horsham after winning 10 of their opening 14 fixtures.

The Carshalton fixture is the first of four in what Cugley describes as a ‘big’ month for his club, with trips to Enfield (November 16) and Lewes (November 30) either side of a home game with Haringey (November 23).

Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley Picture: Alan Langley
Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley Picture: Alan Langley

Invicta also face a trip to Maldon & Tiptree in the FA Trophy with the game likely to be scheduled for midweek due to the Essex side’s involvement in the FA Cup.

Cugley explained: “It’s going well at the moment, but November is going to be a big month for us, we’ve got some difficult games.

“If I’m honest I did not expect us to be where we are but that’s all credit to the players.

“We have struggled on occasions when we’ve been top before but I don’t think the players fear anyone.

“It’s just that it’s such a tough division to play in. We don’t put any pressure on them, we encourage them to relax and enjoy themselves.”

Cugley felt Saturday’s 2-0 FA Trophy win over Lewes was comfortable once they had turned around against the elements scoreless.

He was also pleased that his hunch, to introduce substitute Sam Hasler, paid off when the midfielder grabbed the second goal.

Cugley added: “It (the weather) was not horrendous, but it was a bit windy and we found it difficult to get out of that end of the pitch in the first half.

“I put Sam on, because I fancied him to get a goal in those conditions.

“He strikes a good ball and it was the sort of day when free-kicks and shots from outside the box might come into play.”

The Trophy game at Maldon was scheduled to be played on Saturday, November 9, but the Isthmian North side are already playing at Leyton Orient in the FA Cup on the Sunday.

Invicta have tied down 22-year-old goalkeeper Henry Newcombe on a contract, while striker Ian Draycott has gone on a month’s loan to Southern Counties East League side Chatham in an attempt to get more playing time.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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